Posted on 05 November 2011
We have heard a lot of reports lately suggesting that ski property in France, Switzerland and even Austria is becoming more popular, but now we have some hard data to back it up.
A new report by Savills, titled Spotlight on Alpine Property, quotes a survey by the firm and its sister company Home Away of UK second home owners, which found that although the number of people buying holiday homes fell between 2009-2011, the number of people investing in ski properties increased. During the period ski properties increased their market share to 9% of all holiday home purchases, up from just over 8% in 2008 and from 3% in 2005.
The report also states that 62% of alpine property buyers are buying for both lifestyle and investment reasons. This, says the report has contributed to strong demand in the leaseback sector, because leaseback properties offer good holiday usage in a serviced and maintained apartment, alongside government guaranteed rental income. The typical rental yield of 4-5 percent put leasebacks at the back of the investment queue during the boom, but now the safety of the government backing makes them very popular in the current climate.
According to the Savills report, while ski tourism has been declining in the Alps for several seasons, the resorts have developed their summer offerings considerably since the early noughties, and property owners can now rent all year round quite easily in the top areas. This has led to solid rental yields on good properties in the right areas, even though capital appreciation has been little better than mediocre.
The French alps is still top dog, but it is losing market share to Austria in recent years. In the 2007/08 season France had a 38% market share, but this has fallen to 33% in the 2010/11 season. Austria meanwhile was catching 19% of all ski tourists in 2006/07 and this has grown to 27% in 2010/11.